Novak Djokovic news: Full statement as Tennis Australia breaks silence over visa saga

Australian Open
Tennis Australia's Craig Tiley inside Rod Laver Arena

Tennis Australia has broken its silence following last week’s events that resulted in world No 1 Novak Djokovic being deported ahead of the Australian Open.

Djokovic will not defend his title at Melbourne Park after losing his appeal case with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

The decision by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to cancel Djokovic’s visa for a second time on Friday was unanimously upheld by Chief Justice James Allsop, Justice Anthony Besanko and Justice David O’Callaghan.

Although the statement did not mention Djokovic’s name, Tennis Australia said it has supported and respected the decision of the immigration minister to cancel Serbian’s visa.

“We would like to make clear from the outset that we respect the decision of the Immigration Minister and the finding of the Federal Court of Australia over the weekend,” said the statement.

“Australian Open 2022 has now commenced, and our priority has always been to put on one of the world’s greatest sporting events and ensure we are delivering the best possible experience for all our players, the fans, and the community. The Australian Open is a showcase of Melbourne and Australia and much loved by players from all over the world.

”Tennis Australia has been working closely with both the Federal and Victorian government for the past year to deliver a COVID safe Australian Open for the players, staff, and fans.”

The board and member associations said it commends the Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley and the entire Tennis Australia team for their hard work and dedication to delivering a spectacular summer of tennis.

The statement added: “As the Australian tennis family, we recognise that recent events have been a significant distraction for everyone, and we deeply regret the impact this had on all players.

“There are always lessons to learn, and we will review all aspects of our preparation and implementation to inform our planning – as we do every year. That process always starts once the Australian Open champions have lifted their trophies.”

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